“And I said to my body. Softly. ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath. And replied ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” – Nayyirah Waheed
“Protection does not come in a bottle. It is in me, in my actions, in my thoughts. I am the best medicine for myself. I am the cure and the disease.” – Samantha Schutz
Traditional Oriental Medicine has been used for millennia as a means of treating disharmonies in the body affecting all aspects of the inner workings of the body. Furthermore, acupuncture, one of the best known branches of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has been shown to have effects on the nervous and endocrine systems¹, which have the capacity to affect virtually every other body system. Acupuncture can also help to calm down the fight-or flight response², which helps get the body into rest-and-digest mode, where healing can occur.
Below is a summary of some of the conditions for which people most commonly seek assistance and see improvement. Conditions in bold indicate conditions for which the World Health Organization considers that the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown or proven in controlled trials³.
For a discussion of how acupuncture can help in the management of pain specifically, please click here to read the Alleviating Pain page.
Acupuncture has been shown to have a regulating effect on the cardiovascular system. It is able to treat both high and low blood pressure, manage cardiac arrhythmias, improve circulation in people with Reynaud syndrome, as well as treating vascular dementia and cardiac neurosis.
Digestion & Metabolism
Acupuncture has been shown in many research studies to have a benefit in the treatment of nausea and vomiting, even for morning sickness and chemo-therapy-induced digestive upset. It can also benefit a wide range of other forms of acute epigastralgia, including peptic ulcer, gastrospasm and acute and chronic gastritis. Its benefits also extend to the lower digestive tract, in treating chronic ulcerative colitis and acute bacillary dysentery, as well as to gall bladder related complaints such as biliary colic (gallbladder pain, often in relation to gall stones), and chronic cholecyctitis (inflammation of the gall bladder).
It has also shown benefit in regulating metabolism and weight loss in relation to obesity. It can help regulate blood sugars in non-insulin-dependent Diabetes mellitus (Type 2 diabetes) and can also help regulate fats in the blood in hyperlipidemia.
Acupuncture can help regulate immune system oversensitivity in allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and bronchial asthma, and in auto immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren syndrome. It can also help boost immunity in people with recurrent colds and flus and in cancer patients in relation to adverse reactions to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
In Traditional Oriental Medicine, the mind and body are seen as inseparable and inter-related. Acupuncture has shown a great benefit in treating stress-related conditions such as insomnia and competition stress syndrome and is invaluable in helping people recover from addictions such as alcohol and/or tobacco dependence. Acupuncture also benefits people with chemical imbalances, such as patients suffering from depression or schizophrenia.
Acupuncture can have a great effect in healing damage to the nervous system in stroke rehabilitation and closed craniocerebral injury (traumatic brain injury with the skull intact). It can be very effective in helping with recovery from Bell’s palsy when treatment starts early enough, and it is also beneficial in the treatment of tinnitus, dizziness, Meniere’s disease, as well as regulating movement, such as in stroke rehabilitation, Tourette syndrome and other neurological conditions presenting with too much or too little muscle tension.
Urogenital & Reproductive
And acupuncture is fabulous at helping to heal issues relating to reproductive function, such as female infertility, deficient endocrine activity of the ovaries, polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, as well as male sexual dysfunction and chronic prostatitis. For more information on all the wonderful ways that acupuncture can help with menstrual complaints, fertility optimization, managing menopausal symptoms, and boosting male sexual health, please click here to read more on the Fertility and Reproductive Health page.
Once a woman becomes pregnant, acupuncture continues to be helpful in treating morning sickness, prevention of miscarriage, malposition of the fetus, induction of labour and deficient lactation (insufficient breast milk production). To find more about how acupuncture can be beneficial during and after pregnancy, please click here to read the Supporting Pregnancy page.
Acupuncture can also benefit urinary tract health and pelvic pain, including female urethral syndrome, recurrent lower urinary tract infection and can help prevent urinary tract stone formation.
Conditions in bold indicate conditions for which the World Health Organization considers that the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown or proven in controlled trials.³
- Shang, C. 2007. Review: prospective tests on biological models of acupuncture. eCAM 2009; 6(1): 31–39.
- Wang, S-J et al. 2014. Acupuncture relieves the excessive excitation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis function and correlates with the regulatory mechanism of GR, CRH, and ACTHR. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Article ID 495379.
- World Health Organization. 2002. Acupuncture: review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials. World Health Organization, Geneva.